Trump Ag Advisory Committee member keynotes annual Worland ag event

Columnist and blogger Trent Loos is the keynote speaker at the annual WESTI Ag Days in Worland.

A member of President Trump’s Ag Advisory Committee and columnist for the High Plains Journal publication is the keynote speaker to open WESTI Ag Days, Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 14-15, in Worland.

Trent Loos will discuss bridging the gap between rural producers and urban consumers at 10 a.m. Wednesday, said Caitlin Youngquist, University of Wyoming Extension educator based in Washakie County.

University of Wyoming Extension’s Strategically and Technologically Informative (WESTI) Ag Days is at the Worland Community Center, 1200 Culbertson Ave.

“WESTI Ag Days started nearly 30 years ago and is a great partnership between UW Extension and local businesses,” said Youngquist. “We work hard to pull together a great set of educational programs, and the Washakie County Cow Belles always feed us well.”

Coffee and pastries are offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Go to bit.ly/2018WESTIfor a complete schedule.

Youths and parents can attend a free dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday to meet with professionals from various fields and explore college options. RSVPs are requested. Call 307-347-3431.

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‘Preparing for wildfire’ sessions set in Ten Sleep, Worland

BLM firefighters on the recent Hidden Dome fire in Washakie County. (Photo: James Yule)

Heavy fuel loads and dry conditions in the Big Horn Basin have prompted two preparing for wildfire sessions for rural homeowners.

The sessions are 6 p.m. Friday, July 28, at the Ten Sleep Community Center, and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Washakie County Fairgrounds in Worland.

University of Wyoming Extension educator Caitlin Youngquist is collaborating with Karen Fenton of the Washakie County Conservation District to help landowners develop evacuation plans for livestock and pets and provide information to create defensible space.

The recent fuels and fire behavior advisory from the Wind River Bighorn Basin District of the BLM specifically targeted areas below 5,000 feet.

“We encourage everyone to think about how and where they will move their animals should fire threaten their homes,” Youngquist said. “All of the spring moisture this year contributed to exceptional growth of annual grasses like cheatgrass. The fuel loads are very high, and we have already had four rapidly moving fires in Washakie County.”

The fires, one started by a chain dragging on a highway, burned over 3,500 acres.

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Cover crops topic of first Farm Cafe lunch session Jan. 24

Cover crops is the discussion item at the first of three monthly lunch sessions at the Burlington Town Hall, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Caitlin Youngquist

University of Wyoming Extension educators are calling the sessions Farm Cafe.

Livestock health is the subject Tuesday, Feb. 21, and weed management is the topic Tuesday, March 21. All sessions are noon to 1:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.

“We hope this will be a great opportunity to connect people with resources and share ideas,” said Caitlin Youngquist, UW Extension educator in the Big Horn Basin.

Extension educators will help find resources and answer questions, she said.

Producers experienced with cover crops or those just new to using them are encouraged to attend the Jan. 24 session. The first 25 participants receive a free edition of “Managing Cover Crops Profitability.”

Mae Smith

Producers are also encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to access online resources, said Mae Smith, also a Big Horn Basin extension educator.

For more information, contact Youngquist in Washakie County at 307-347-3431 or Smith in Big Horn County at 307-765-2868.